Gov. Bob McDonnell got the last word in his quest to cut funding for public radio and television, vetoing just one item in the voluminous state budget and signing everything else.
McDonnell's veto cuts $424,000 from government-subsidized radio and television stations that present artistic, cultural and public affairs and news programs such as Ken Burns' acclaimed "Civil
He had targeted PBS stations for an eventual phaseout in the budget he submitted in December. The General Assembly balked and restored some funding, but he amended the legislature's budget to
reinstate his cuts.
The Senate on April 6 rejected the governor's cuts, but the House accepted them. Without a two-third majority in each house defying the governor, the state Constitution gives him authority to veto a budget item.
"When I took office, I pledged to refocus state government on its core functions by finding ways to make government more efficient and effective, and to wisely spend the hard earned money of Virginia taxpayers," McDonnell said in a release. "In today's free market, with hundreds of radio and television programs, government should not be subsidizing one particular group of stations. We must get serious about government spending. That means funding our core functions well, and eliminating spending on programs and services that should be left to the private sector. This is a smart, practical budgeting decision to make Virginia government smaller and more efficient and save taxpayer dollars."